March 28, 1905


House resumed consideration of the motion of Sir Wilfrid Laurier for the second reading of Bill (No. 69) to establish and provide for the government of the province of Alberta, and the amendment of Mr. R. L. Borden thereto.


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Mir. M. S.@

Mr. Speaker, for three hours this afternoon the House had the advantage of hearing the views of the hou. gentleman, not upon the subject under discussion, but upon many matters totally foreign to the measure that the House is now considering. If, this afternoon, a stranger had been in our galleries, and many there were, and had not in advance been informed of the subject under debate, it would have been impossible for him to have known what the subject was that was properly in order before the House. For three hours this afternoon the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) occupied the attention of the House ostensibly in order to aid by some useful contribution in the solution of a very important public question, but instead of bringing to the aid of his country his great talents, I think it will be found on a careful perusal of his words that his efforts were rather to sow the seeds of discord to the injury of his country. He began by giving us, as he has on many occasions and as he also has given to the public, his view's on the question of political principles and political morality. It must be extremely elevating to the people of Canada to take their inspiration of political morality from such a source. He entered politics with principles. He describes the Liberal party as conveniently packing their principles in a remote corner of a small valise, and he states that they are able to get rid of them as conveniently as they can put them in or take them out of the valise. What about the principles of the hon. gentleman ? I can recall many of his professed principles, for perhaps his principles are not very deep-seated, and, like old garments, they are

easily disposed of in favour of new ones. I remember the first principle he advocated when he entered public life. He came here with a valise, and I suppose he had his political principles in the valise. What was the first principle he had in his valise ? It was a principle which served a useful purpose. His great political principle, and before it all other great questions faded into insignificance, was prohibition. 1 The welfare of the country demanded that the first consideration, higher than that of party, should be given to the question of prohibition. That was his political capital for many a year ; that was the only article in his political valise. He arrived in Ottawa with his political valise. Perhaps I am wrong in saying that he had only one principle. He had another stowed away which did not take up much room and did not occupy a very long time in that valise, but he entered this House pledged as an independent Conservative to stand up for all good measures. Party was a secondary consideration for him ; his country demanded his first attention. He had these two principles when he entered public life. What became of them ? The independent Conservative principle could not be allowed to stand, because it stood in the way of preferment, and so the first thing that happened his little valise was to deprive it of the presence in it of his principle of political independence. It stood in the way of his entering the cabinet. It was thrown overboard and he got a portfolio. But it was not enough to get a portfolio. It is one thing to get a portfolio ; it is another thing to retain a portfolio. He has had some experience in both of these. He had to get rid of his other principle, and prohibition was thrown overboard, and with it his little valise. As time advanced he deemed it necessary to avow his being devoutly possessed of another principle. What was that principle ? He had taken office. He had become a strict party man. It was essential to him an apostate now but then a party man, that he should stand by his party, that he should be true to the government of which he was a member and true to the premier under whom he enlisted. His principle was-and it was a right one ; it was a principle that he was bound to live up to -that he should be true and loyal to his chief.

That is one of the principles he made profession of, but how long did that principle remain in his valise? It was there until it suited his purpose to dispose of it, and when was that? Sir John Macdonald, who first took him into office, had disappeared, others had been his chiefs and had disappeared also, and at last he enlisted under the banner of Sir Mackenzie Bowell. The history of Canada tells what then became of his principle of loyalty to his chief; the scenes that took place in this chamber and in the ante-rooms and lobbies of this House tell

what he did with that principle. Lastly, in 1896, on the eve of an election, the hon. gentleman evidently believing that it was good politics to stand by the minority, declared his undying allegiance to the cause of minorities. In 1896 he advocated the cause of minorities, he talked of respect for the constitution, but he found it didn't pay and to-day he seizes the opportunity _ to sever himself from the last of his political principles. No longer has the hon. gentleman any use for a political valise; hereafter a carpet bag will take its place. [DOT]

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LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

The hon. gentleman spent part of this day attacking ministers and ex-ministers and in one of his outbursts he said that he hoped for once some minister would go out of office for the sake of principle and would remain out of office for the sake of principle. The thought of going out of oflice and remaining out of office is a disturbing dream to the hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster). He cannot address a public meeting nor can he speak in parliament without talking of ministerial explanations and the principles of public men. Let the hon. gentleman be frank and tell us if he resigned on principle. A few m'onths ago he told the electors of North Toronto, if he is reported correctly in his own organs, that he resigned office on a question of policy. I was present in this chamber when he stated to this House the reasons why he resigned office, and in those reasons there was no question of principle involved. He then declared that there was no difference between himself and his leader on any question of principle or of policy, hut what is the sequel? That has been told us of late, and it is an extraordinary explanation. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster) told us in 1896 that he had resigned not from personal ambition of any kind, but for the good of the party and of the country. But. a few weeks ago. the Hon. Sir Mackenzie Bowell, his late chief and leader, speaking in another chamber, told us why he had resigned. Perhaps he will now admit or deny the accuracy of Sir Mackenzie Bowell's assertion. Sir Mackenze Bowell declared that the resignation of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster) was not on account of any difference of policy or principle, but because of the overweening ambition of the hon. gentleman to become Prime Minister of Canada. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster) smiles. I will make it clear to him. The hon. gentleman is setting himself up as a standard for the guidance of the public men of this country, but let us see whether he is a safe guide. Sir Mackenzie Bowel] said (I quote from Senate ' Hansard,' 1st March, 1905) :

When he told the people of Toronto at the last Dominion election that he left the government on account of differences of opinion, on questions of policy and that His Excellency

the Governor General knowing the facts called them back into the government,

I do not like to read the words, but here they are:

He knew he was telling what was not correct.

Sir Mackenzie Bowell continues:

I have in my hand copies of the renort of speeches delivered by him in Toronto during the last Dominion election as reported by the'Globe,' the * News ' and the ' Mail/ in which I find that in reply to questions put to him he said amongst other things, .when asked why he left the government, that he did not purpose to answer the question that belonged to the Privy Council, and that his mouth was shut.

We never find it in that condition in this chamber.

But added that on all points of importance they must have a union of ideas and that any one disagreeing must resign. That, he said, was all they had done. Continuing, he said, ' When a member of the cabinet or members disagreed with their leader they had done as they were bound on their honour to do-resigned.' In another speech he said : ' The Governor had been quite satisfied with the reasons for the resignation of six ministers on a question of policy, and had shown his confidence in them by reappointing them later.' That did not satisfy his hearers, one of whom exclaimed :

' That still leaves the question unanswered. Why did you resign ? ' To which Mr. Foster replied ' I don't intend to answer. I am not at liberty to reveal the secrets of the Privy Council.' An ingenious way of evading an answer. The fact is, the reasons given in the House of Commons for his resigning were never discussed in the Privy Council before he resigned, therefore, he had no oath to respect in that particular. .

Again, speaking in this chamber not very long ago the hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster) said:

Am I not to be allowed to leave the government if I differ from it on points of policy or principle ?

That was the statement of the hon. gentleman in this House during the present session, but how does that fit in with the statement he made on the very occasion of his resignation when he was probably most likely to give an accurate account. Speaking from his seat in 1896 he said:

I may say in the first place that there is no disagreement between ourselves and the premier upon any question of public policy, trade or constitutional, with regard to which action has already been taken, or in respect to which attitude has been assumed by the government under the present premier. I

I leave my hon. friend to struggle with these two conflicting statements. He goes on to give what he deems to be the reason, namely, the desire to serve under a gentleman of perhaps greater power. In fact he Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

describes the cabinet as beyond the control of the First Minister. He was unable to keep those unruly members in order. There was disorder in the cabinet, and the hon. member for North Toronto added to the disorder by trying to break up the cabinet. Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman seems to be troubled when any retiring minister returns to the cabinet, and be seems to be troubled when any retiring minister lemains without the cabinet. He takes exception to Mr. Blair not having returned. No person can take exception to his conduct in that respect. But when the honourable member for North Toronto went out of the cabinet, he took precious good care that no one should get into his place. He rendered the reconstruction impossible except by his readmission to the cabinet. Does the bon. gentleman set up that method as a standard ? Is that bis idea of political morality ? Is that his conception of what should be the conduct of hon. gentlemen who take office to serve their country ? Surely it is time for him to throw off this hypocritical garb in which be seeks to give moral lectures as to how public men should be loyal to their principles.

To-day, running through the whole of his speech, I thought I was able to discover one distinct line of policy. The Bill before the House is one to deal with a very important question concerning the Northwest. It is a question upon which the people may be honestly divided in opinion; but it is the bounden duty of every loyal citizen and of every member of this House to i-ender such assistance as he can to bring about a satisfactory settlement of this question. What was the action of the hon. gentleman Y If I have correctly read his policy, if I have discovered the object he had in his speech, it was not to be a messenger of peace and harmony, but if possible to light the incendiary fires of religious and racial discord from one end of this Dominion to the other. The hon. gentleman represents North Toronto. In olden days he came from the east. He stayed there as long as the people would keep him. in olden days, Mr. Speaker, I doubt if be would have professed the principles that he has professed to-day. But, Sir, he has rested in another place, and his new principles of to-day are appropriate and fashionable in North Toronto, and he put them on, and with a great deal of force throws off the old discarded ones. What object had the hon. gentleman in asking the member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) whether or not be was content with the amendments of the government ? The hon. member for North Toronto, holding up these amendments to the member for Labelle, who is as we all know a devout son of his church, said to him in triumph: All the comfort and consolation you can get from these amendments is that at' half-past three o'clock in

the afternoon, when practically the school day is over, a half-hour of religious training will be allowed ; and he asked the member for Labelle If he was content with such a meagre provision as that. What was the object of that ? It was too transparent-perhaps the hon. gentleman thought no one could see it. The object of that was to tell the people of Quebec : Sir Wilfrid Laurier is giving you, not bread, but a stone ; he is not giving you any measure that will meet the views and feelings and perhaps the prejudices of the people of Quebec ; he is deceiving you, and X want to convince the member for Labelle of that fact, and I trust to his being a missionary to disseminate that doctrine in Quebec, and to stir up the good people of the province to demand more from Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and perhaps to embarrass his policy.

When the hon. member for North Toronto comes to deal with the Territories, what does he say ? In loud language and in violent terms he says, why bind these young-giants in this way ? And he goes on to say : If you give this measure to the Territories, Nova Scotia is entitled to the same, British Columbia is entitled to it, all the other provinces that do not enjoy it are entitled to it. He appeals to the Territories practically to rise in revolt against this measure if it becomes law, and, if possible to make it a great political question ; and at the same time he appeals to the minorities in the other provinces, saying to them : The minority in the new provinces have got something-you demand it too. He thus appeals to one class and another-to the French Catholics of Quebec, to the Irish Catholics in another province, to the Protestants in another, trusting that by raising these fires in each of these provinces, he may at last involve this whole Dominion in one huge, far-reaching religious conflagration. Mr. Speaker, I recognize that the hon. gentleman is here to voice the sentiments of his constituents. But, Sir, I regard them as taking a higher view of the duties of their representative than to demand of him that he shall play the role of the political incendiary on the floor of this House.

The hon. gentleman assailed the ex-Minister of the Interior. Whenever, for a moment, any other line of thought failed him, he turned to the ex-minister, who seemed to be the special object of his poisoned shafts. Mr. Speaker, I have had an opportunity of judging of the services rendered to this country by the ex-Minister of the Interior for the last eight years. He assumed the most important portfolio having regard to the needs of this country, that we have. Other men before him had held it. and had failed. For years our great prairies had remained almost a solitude. The late government had an opportunity for eighteen years to make an impression there, and failed; and when the member for

Brandon (Mr. Sifton) assumed that portfolio, and the Manitoba school question disappeared from the vexed question of the day, a complete change came over the conditions of this country. 1 venture to say, what I have said before-and I say it without seeking to discredit any person-that of all the ministers who have held portfolios since confederation, none has rendered as valuable services to Canada as the ex-Minister of the Interior, and his withdrawal from our cabinet is a national loss. The hon. member for North Toronto asked me if I was a member of the sub-committee that had had to do with considering the terms of the constitution of these Territories. I was. He asked me if I had discovered the meaning of section 16, containing the educational clauses, which he has described as worded in such a subtle way as really to conceal their true object. Had it not been, he said, for the disclosure made by the member for Brandon of the meaning of those clauses, they would have passed into law, and then this country would have been for ever under the obligation of maintaining an enormous endowment for the Catholic church. I do not admit, nor does the government, the correctness of the construction placed upon the original clause 16 by the ex-Minister of the Interior. Lawyers may differ, and according to the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) 213 members of this House would have been deceived but for the ex-Minister of the Interior. Does the hon. gentleman think that ( am more astute to discover the weak points of the clause than the other 212 men ?

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George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

As a matter of fact, I did not say that. I said that the clause was so worded that had it not been for the disclosure given of its meaning by the exMinister of the Interior, it doubtless would have passed through this House and its true meaning would have been undetected. That is what I said.

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James Bell Klock

Sir WILLIAM MU LOCK.

Well, I do not pretend to be more astute than, or even as astute as a very large number of the members of this House, but when the hon. gentleman admits himself that he wovild not have discovered the hidden meaning in this clause and that all those around him would not have discovered it, surely he will be charitable to another weak member of humanity who was likewise not able to discover it.

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LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

I only plead that if the other 212 members of this House were as blind as myself, I am in very excellent company. May I not ask, after this question has been debated for three hours to-day, the House to come back to the real issue ?

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

Yes ; it is sometimes necessary to go outside tlie record, but I would ask tbe House to allow me to return to the real issue. Tbe bon. gentleman from North Toronto (Mr. Foster) spoke of tlie Quebec compact, which is to be found in the British North America Act, and declared that that compact, crystallized into the Confederation Act, did no more than secure separate schools to the minorities in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. He denied that any other part of this Dominion was entitled to separate schools under that Act. Let me remind him that he gave the contrary view to this House nine years ago. Then he was arguing in favour of the constitution. Then everything outside the constitutional argument was, in his judgment, out of order. When the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) ventured to interject something that did not appear to have any strict bearing on the constitution, he was immediately rebuked by his colleague from North Toronto. He was immediately told by him that the subject was one solely of the true construction of the constitution. To-day he tells us that under the British North America Act, and the compact out of which it grew, no province, except the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, is entitled to the benefit of the 93rd section of that Act. Speaking on the 13th March, 1896, in this House, as reported in ' Hansard,' page 3476, he made use of the following language :

The first question then for me to solve when I approach the consideration of this subject is this : Is there any compact or agreement arrived at in this country and embodied in the constitution under [DOT] which we live which has first to be considered before we can give our decision upon this question ? The answer is plain and definite. There is a compact in the constitution of the confederation ; there is a second compact in the constitution of Manitoba, ratified by the British parliament, and under which she became a part of the Dominion.

Then he proceeded to say, In answer to an interruption by the late Mr. Wallace :

If the hon. gentleman will allow me to proceed I will answer that question in due course, and I will answer it thoroughly. Arising out of long years of sectarian and religious strife under united Canada, opinions and convictions in reference to this matter became gradually modified, and when the representatives of the four provinces came together at Quebec to take up, discuss and settle articles of confederation, these convictions rapidly and definitely resolved themselves Into the determination that it should be laid down in the constitution of the country that whatever rights and privileges religious minorities had in the provinces at the time of confederation should maintain their status quo and shall not be changed. And so the first paragraph of the educational clauses of the confederation resolutions gave by general consent to the provinces the power to deal with respect to education :

Saving the rights and privileges which Catholic or Protestant minorities in both Canadas Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

may possess as to their denominational schools at the time when the union goes into operation.

The only change which took place in that clause was this, that instead of its being confined to both Canadas, it was broadened to include the provinces which entered confederation.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

It does not matter very much ; but if the hon. gentleman will pardon an interruption, I would remind him that what he has just read is exactly what I stated to-day.

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William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILIAM MULOCK.

In that case, I think that on a perusal of his remarks the hon. gentleman will find that he did not give expression to the ideas which were in his mind. If he repeats and affirms what he said in 1896, we start from that ground instead of the new ground which, I think, he was taking to-day.

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Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Hear, hear.

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William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

However, what is the isuue now ? Once to-day the hon. gentleman said it was a question of provincial rights. His leader moved an amendment, and in supporting that amendment said that the question was not, with him, one of separate schools, but of provincial rights, and he proposed to take his stand on that ground. And It is argued by some gentlemen that the proposed legislation would be a violation of provincial rights. But there can he no violation of a right until that right is created. First you must show that the province has a right, and then that the right which it possesses, is being violated. The first question in my judgment, therefore, is : What are the rights

of a province when it is created ? There we immediately enter upon debatable ground, because there are two conflicting views as to how a province may derive its constitutional power and rights. If I understand my hon. friend the leader of the opposition, his contention is that the moment a territory acquires provincial status, that moment it automatically becomes possessed of certain rights under the British North America Act, that it inherits these rights that moment without more being done, without any act on the part of the Dominion parliament or the Dominion government, and without any imperial legislation-the moment you give the provincial status to a territory, that moment, according to the leader of the opposition, it acquires its provincial charter, and Its rights are there set forth or may be found. He' takes the literal interpretation and makes that the rock of the constitution. He would have us believe that the rock of the constitution is the letter and not the spirit of the British North America Act. Here we see the lawyer-he looks to what is nominated in the bond. I care not, he

says, whether it works well or ill ; I care not whether it is to the public good or the public injury-every province has the same constitutional charter the moment it becomes a province. The opposite view is that the province does not derive its charter automatically from the British North America Act, but that the spirit of the British North America Act must be considered, and so much of its provisions as may be reasonably adapted to the provincial status is given to the new province. The British North America Act, in conferring upon the people of Canada certain legislative powers, has set forth in a general way a scheme for the distribution of legislative powers to be exercised by the Dominion or the provinces. It suggests in a general way that some of these powers, of which it gives a list, may properly be given to a province, and the others may properly be left to the Dominion. But the British North America Act, according to those who look at its spirit rather than its letter, does not in itself contain a model constitution that automatically attaches, without the variation of a word or a letter, to every province the moment it becomes the province. If the reasoning of the leader of the opposition is right, there is no reason why, when a province is established, parliament should trouble itself to declare any of these powers. And yet, if yon trace the history of the several provinces of Canada from their creation up to the present, you will find that, in every instance, the parliament of Canada, or the government of Canada, or the imperial parliament, has conferred upon each province powers somewhat different from those that the Confederation Act would suggest. If each province gets its constitution automatically from the British North America Act, we in this House cannot in any way frame or limit the constitution of the new provinces. But if we interpret the British North America Act, not by its letter, but by its spirit and by the manner in which it has been applied in the creation of every one of the provinces from confederation down to the present time, we fail to find a single instance where the doctrine of the leader of the opposition has been adopted, where any province has been given a constitution exactly in harmony with the general scheme of the British North America Act. There are no two provinces whose constitutions are the same, though all derive their constitutions from the British North America Act. It is the spirit that suggests how the constitution shall be framed. So, where is the model ? And how can it be argued that when a province acquires the provincial status it acquires immediately certain rights and powers without any intervention or exercise of discretion on the part of the Dominion parliament or any other legislative body ? To illustrate what I mean, consider the character of the British North America Act. Sections 91, 92 and 93 cover

the distribution of powers, some powers to be exercised by the central parliament and others by the provincial parliament. Take, for instance, the important subject of divorce. Under the British North America Act, divorce is assigned to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Dominion parliament. If the literal wording of the British North America Act is adopted in giving a constitution to another province, you would not find any province entitled to maintain a divorce court unless it was so authorized by this parliament. This parliament has never established a divorce court in any province. And yet to-day there are divorce courts in several provinces-in Nova Scotia, in New Brunswick and, I think, in British Columbia. How comes it that the subject of divorce, which, under the British North America Act, is assigned to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Dominion parliament, is dealt with by several provinces ? Simply because, when it came to the creation of confederation, certain provinces had at that time this institution. Nova Scotia had a divorce court and desired to retain it. The British North America Act allowed it to be retained in that province. In that respect it allowed a departure from the British North America Act. The province of Quebec had no divorce court, and no divorce court was given it under the British North America Act-the Act recognized the status quo as respects that subject in the province of Quebec. New Brunswick had a divorce court and wished to retain it, and the British North America Act recognized the wash of that province and allowed it to retain the divorce court, thus making an exception from the letter of the Act. Ontario had no divorce court and was given no divorce court by the Act. Later on British Columbia came into confederation. As I understand it, British Columbia had a divorce court then, and it was left in the employment of that institution-the letter of the law was departed from, but the spirit was observed ; the general scheme of confederation was made applicable, but, with exceptions, recognizing local peculiarities and local institutions. Then-going rapidly over the subjects of special importance to the provinces -take the subject of languages. This is an English-speaking country ; and it was assumed, doubtless, that English would be the prevailing language throughout the country. The use of language in the courts and legislatures of the provinces is a civii right, and, as such, is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the province. Yet, turning to the constitution as affecting the province of Quebec, you will find that, unlike the other provinces, Quebec was not left to determine what languages shall or shall not be used in its courts and legislature, but the British North America Act declares that the English language, along with the French, shall be lawful in the courts and legislature of that province.

The letter of the constitution was departed from as to the subject of language in the province of Quebec, and was made suitable to the local conditions, needs and interests of that province. Yet if the letter of the law is to be regarded, you have no justification for this departure from the constitution which is to be found in the British North America Act. Take the subject of education. At the time of confederation it was found that the minority in the province of Quebec had separate schools, the British North America Act preserved- separate schools to them; it was found that there were separate schools in Ontario, and the British North America Act retained separate schools in Ontario; there were no separate schools in Nova Scotia, and the status quo was recognized there; there were no separate schools in New Brunswick, the status quo was recognized there. But although the British North America Act in its general scheme declared that the subject of education should be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces, it made two exceptions in the case of Ontario and Quebec, as my hon. friend admits to-day, and that exception extends to other provinces as well. Yet, if you were to adopt the strict letter of the law, you have no right in a constitution resting on the bed rock of the British North America Act to make these exceptions in the constitution of any province. Take the subject of finance. Although this is not strictly a constitutional subject, you will find that whilst the general scheme is to treat all the provinces alike financially, in the case of Prince Edward Island there was a material departure made from the general scheme of finance. In fact, you do not find the same corresponding financial arrangements made in any two provinces. In fact, there are just two ways of looking at the British North America Act; you may look at it from the standpoint of a lawyer, or you may look at it from the standpoint of a statesman. If you look at it from the standpoint of a lawyer-and I submit that is the standpoint of the leader of the opposition-you take the letter of the constitution without regard to its bearings and its application to the time being, and apply it literally, whether tile application fits the time and occasion or not. But taking the spirit of the Act on each occasion of creating a new province, you adopt the constitution, as far as possible, to the new province, having due regard to the conditions then prevailing.

Take the case of Manitoba to which my hon. friend has referred. The province of Manitoba was established in 1870, prior to that it had been under the jurisdiction of the Hudson Bay Company. There were no laws there except the old common law of England. There were no schools established by law, but it was thought that there were some schools established by practice, Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

and, therefore, when it came to creating the province 'of Manitoba the educational question arose. What was done? They did not even adhere on that occasion to the language and to the provisions of section 93 of the British North America Act dealing with the subject of legislation. The language of the British North America Act dealing with education reads as follows:

In and for each province the legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education, subject and according to the following provisions:

Nothing in any such law should prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law in the province at the union.

'Have by law.' The British North America Act only protected the rights of minorities which thejf have by law. When It came to creating a province out of Rupert's Land, the words 'by law' would have afforded no protection to the minority, and accordingly those who were engaged in framing this legislation sought in some other way to secure to the minority in Manitoba their right to whatever schools they might then have; and so the words 'by practice' were introduced, and the province of Manitoba was secured in its separate schools in these words:

Nothing in any such law should prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law or hy practice.

Now, the words 'by practice' are a radical departure from the letter of the British North America Act. Why was that departure ? How do we account for that departure? Simply because the strict letter of the British North America Act would not have met the case of Manitoba, and it was necessary to apply it in spirit, and in that way the legislators of those days felt justified, within the constitution, in so modifying section 93. Now, what happened after that? Manitoba was carved out of Rupert's Land, the Territories we are about to raise into provinces are part of the remainder of Rupert's Land. The Manitoba Act was confirmed by imperial legislation, and that same imperial legislation which confirmed the Act creating the province of Manitoba proceeded to confer upon the Dominion parliament power t.o grant a constitution to new provinces. Section 2 of the amendment to the British North America Act, 1871, is as follows :

The parliament of Canada may from time to time establish new provinces in any territories forming for the time being part of the Dominion of Canada, but not included In any province thereof, and may, at the time of such establishment, make provision for the constitution and administration of any such province, and for the passing of laws for the peace, order and good government of such

province, and for its representation in the said parliament.

The very same Imperial Act that recognized the change in the words from the British North America Act to the words used in the Manitoba Act, gave to this parliament for the first time the power to give a constitution to new provinces. Now, what is the meaning of section 2 of this Act if it is not to give to this parliament discretionary power as to the kind of a constitution we may give to a province? If it was intended that this parliament should do no more than mark out the limits of a province and declare that it was made a province, the Act would have said so; but instead of that the Act proceeds to say that we may establish a province and make provision for its constitutional administration, for the passing of laws, for the peace, order and good government of such province and its representation in this parliament.

In mentioning these exceptions to the general scheme of confederation another instance occurs to my mind, the case of British Columbia. Under the British North America Act, representation by population in this parliament is the general scheme. The provinces may lose representation if their population falls, but as far as British Columbia is concerned its minimum representation is guaranteed by the British North America Act. No matter what the population of British Columbia may be, its representation here cannot go below a certain minimum-another departure from the letter of the Confederation Act. Under the British North America Act each province is given a legislature, but as regards the province of Quebec it is not permitted to control its own local provincial constitution as far as its parliament is concerned, for the British North America Act declares that there shall be two houses and it does not leave it in the power of the province of Quebec to alter that portion of its constitution. It does more. Take the matter of representation of the house of assembly in the province of Quebec. All the other provinces have the power themselves to alter their electoral districts, making boundaries as they see fit, but in the case of the province of Quebec it is entirely different. There are twelve constituencies in the province of Quebec that the legislature cannot interfere with. In the province of Ontario our legislature can, if it sees fit, alter the boundaries of all the electoral districts, and so it is in all the other provinces of the Dominion, Quebec alone excepted. Why was the exception made in the province of Quebec ?-simply to meet local conditions and thus we have from ocean to ocean all these provinces, deriving their constitutions from the British North America Act, but not one of them having the same constitution, all varying in some respects and yet all in substance formulated in accordance with 109-

the true spirit of the British North America Act. There are seven provinces in this Dominion. Four of these provinces were created at the same time and created by the same instrument, the British North America Act, which declared the constitution of all the provinces. But that very same instrument, that very same Act of legislation that gave life to our British North America Act gave four distinct kinds of constitution to the four different provinces that formed the original confederation of Canada. Yet, we are told that there is a model to be found within the four corners of the British North America Act, or in the constitutions of the different provinces created under the British North America Act, which furnishes to us full information as to what are to be the powers of each province when it becomes a province. For forty years parliament has been interpreting the meaning of the British North America Act and in no one instance lias parliament taken the view that the hon. leader of the opposition now presents to this House. In no one instance has parliament up to this moment felt that it was bound by the letter of the constitution', or that it was at no time to modify according to the local conditions the general scheme of confederation in applying that constitution to a particular province. I ask you then, if, up to this present moment, all who have been engaged in creating these seven provinces, if all the parliaments either here or in England have been disposed to look not to the letter, but to the spirit of the law, do you not think that the bed rock of our constitution is the spirit and not the mere letter of the British North America Act. Why, Sir, is it common sense to suppose that when the British North America Act was passed forty years ago the parliament of that day intended that that instrument which for all time was to form the constitution of this Dominion, with its changes and with its future, was literally to be applied, not having regard to the conditions of new provinces when its application was to be made but having regard to the dead past ? I can imagine a hundred years hence sofiTe question arising in this country ; perhaps it may be the question of taking away from a province some of its powers, or it may be a question of taking away from the Dominion some of its powers, or it may be a question in some way or other of rearranging legislative powers, and I can understand that it might be thought of vital importance to the safety of the country that some change should be made. Under these circumstances I can almost anticipate a lawyer of that day rising in his place in parliament and saying": You propose to alter the constitution for the public welfare. I admit that the public-welfare may call for a change of the constitution, but I take my stand on the letter of the constitution and I interpret it in the light of 150 or 200 years ago. Is that the spirit

In which laws are to be construed, or should they he construed as living and moving laws to be construed so as at all times to meet the altered conditions of the occasion ? I sympathize with the view of the premier and I put him in contrast on this occasion with the attitude of the leader of the opposition. In one case, you have an interpretation of the constitution by a lawyer; in the other case, may I he permitted to say, by a statesman ? Which view is the more likely to be correct ? Which view is the more likely to be in the best interests of the country ? I take this view of it then ; I began by arguing that there could be no infringement of a right until it has been created. A province possesses no rights until this parliament has declared what its rights are. According to the spirit of the British North America Act and according to the letter of the amending Act of 1871, it is iu the discretion of this parliament to-day to say what constitution we shall give to these two new provinces.

How have we dealt with education in the seven provinces of this Dominion ? We have left education as we found it when we came -to legislate. Nova Scotia' had no separate schools ; the British North America Act gave them no separate schools. In New Brunswick there were no separate schools ; when they joined confederation the Confederation Act gave them no separate schools. In Quebec at the time of confederation there were separate schools ; the Confederation Act recognized that condition of affairs and left them in the enjoyment of separate schools. In Ontario when it entered confederation there were separate schools ; the British North America Act recognized local conditions and left Ontario in the enjoyment of her separate schools. At the time Prince Edward Island joined the union there were no separate schools ; the Orders in Council, ratified by the imperial government, left Prince Edward Island in the condition it was in when it entered confederation, without separate schools. When we came to carve a new province out of the territory of Ruperts Land, when we came to establish Manitoba we found a peculiar condition there. They had separate schools but these schools did not fall within the language of the British North America Act. They were not there by right or law because there were no laws. The country was almost uninhabited, no constitution had been declared, it was working under the old law of England, and the legislators of that day, endeavouring to recognize the condition of affairs as they found it, when they were going to make Manitoba into a province said that although there are no schools in Manitoba by law there are some by practice and we will give you a constitution and allow you to retain whatever you had by law or practice. So, they departed from the letter of the law in the case of Manitoba. In British Columbia it is the same. There were no separate Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

schools in British Columbia, but when British Columbia came into the confederation the Confederation Act recognized the status quo and did not establish separate schools.

Thus, in the case of the whole seven provinces that now constitute this Dominion, each province was left either with or without separate schools just as the condition was at the time of its entering into the union. But what do we find in the case of the Territories ? In 1875, thirty years ago, this parliament passed an Act authorizing the legislature of the Territories to establish separate schools. The Act of 1875 did not declare the character of these schools ; they might be under church control or they might be under state control. I frankly confess that I disapprove of separate schools under church control, and on one occasion when I had the opportunity I recorded my vote against the maintenance of the status quo of 1875. I object to that feature of it which admits of a school under church control, but the Act remained on the statute-book and it is on the statute-book to-day. It is quite common practice in this House to belittle the jurisdiction of the territorial legislature, but within its limits and as to be subjects in respect of which it can legislate the territorial legislature is as supreme as is the legislature of any province. For thirty years the people of the Territories have been in the enjoyment of rights under the Act of *1875, and they have made clear their views on their educational system in the form of laws passed by their legislature. The ex-Minister of the Interior correctly described the educational laws of the Territories. He pointed out that under the ordinance, chapter 29, which we propose to accept as the standard, the separate schools as they are to-day are really national schools ; that the teachers must be qualified equally with the teachers in the public schools, that the schools must be organized under the state and not under the church, that the text books are prescribed by the state, that the inspection, the examination and the whole control of these schools called separate schools, is with the state. We have been assailed indeed by people opposed to us because these schools are not sufficiently under church control. The existing school system in the Territories is the outcome of thirty years of legislation by- the people of the Territories. Their educational laws have reached the present status, and they give supreme satisfaction I understand throughout the Territories. Although some gentlemen on the other side of the House are endeavouring to induce the people to rise in revolt, we do not find any such hysterical appeals made by the people of the Territories who are most directly concerned. I see before me the minister-I beg his pardon I was only anticipating a little perhaps-I see before me the member for East Grey (Mr. MARCH 29, 1905

Sproule). He is deeply interested in this question and from one standpoint is an authority upon it. I have something here which may interest him. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) went to Montreal a year ago and he was entertained by the Jacques Cartier Club of which we have heard a good deal of late in connection with the sending of petitions gotten up in the province of Quebec. I do not know how intimate are the relations between my hon. friend from Bast Grey and the Jacques Cartier Club, but let me remind him of a pleasing incident : a banquet to his leader and himself. The day after the banquet, the1 Montreal ' Gazette ' did itself the honour of reporting the hon. gentleman's speech, and I will do him the further honour of reading the report to the House. I may observe that on this occasion the member for East Grey was accompanied by his leader the member for Carleton. The Montreal ' Gazette ' of the 20th of June, 1904, reports :

Dr. Sproule, M.P., the well known Orange leader created loud laughter as he called those present his ' brethren.' He was loudly applauded as he told of his impressions on seeing Cartier for the first time. He wanted more French Conservatives at Ottawa to help carry out Mr. Borden's policy. Ontario, he said, had no desire to rule this country without the help of French Canada.

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CON
LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

Does the hon. gentleman express himself that way up

west ?

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CON
LIB

William Mulock (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Sir WILLIAM MULOCK.

Well, we will see what happened after that.

The one province was necessary to the other.

Oh, here is something rather interesting :

He said that the much decried Orange lodge was nothing more or less than a Conservative committee room.

Topic:   PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTHWEST.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

Topic:   PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTHWEST.
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March 28, 1905